With the price of college tuition rising, the dilemma of going to college or striking out on your own is causing some serious debate. Currently in the US alone, student loan debt is over 1 trillion dollars. It's the only kind of loan which you cannot default on, so in other words, you must pay back your loans. If you do not, interest will continue to rise, and debt will continue to incur exponentially.
1. Write a book: If you want to be a writer, why conform to academic guidelines and waste precious time on essays that will ultimately just get discarded? You can forego the traditional route and write books, freelance for companies/individuals and learn other forms of writing. TIP: copywriting is the most lucrative and sought-after form of writing, and while it takes learning just like anything else, you can learn on your own through ebooks, courses, etc.
2. Start a business: Don't worry about starting a multimillion dollar enterprise. Start small, do it manually and just DO IT. Don't overplan, overthink and pour a ton of money into it. Market it first, validate the idea, then go for it.
3. Learn to code: Are you a critical thinker and tech savvy? Then use the internet to your advantage. There are plently of great courses, ebooks and programs out there to help facilitate this process. Whether you went to MIT or dropped out of first grade, these sources are readily available to take advantage of.
4. Consult other businesses: Consulting is a very broad field. You can consult companies on SEO, blogging, social media, brand building, etc. and you do not need years of experience. You just need to know more than that company or individual about the topic you choose to offer consulting on. People have made very lucrative careers off of consulting others on a wide array of issues.
5. Blog: Start blogging today even if it's just as a side-project. Building a personal brand is extremely important on the internet. You'll be able to tap into your followers for advice, ideas, connections, etc. and it will be more beneficial than you can imagine. Start with small goals, promote your articles, and offer a weekly newsletter to email subscribers (very important).
Go out there and just do something. I'd like to hear from all you, so comment and I'll respond. Tell me what you're doing, what you're having trouble with and so forth. I'll do my best to help!